Robots are infiltrating our world. Robots can clean your floors for you, mow your grass for you, and even play fetch with your dog for you. Robots like Siri and Alexa are getting so complex that they can help control your home and give you information at the drop of a hat. We are in an age of artificial intelligence where machines are programmed to respond with the appropriate action when given a command.
Well, when I was a young believer my desire for discipleship was to be a Christian robot. I wanted to be trained (programmed) by the church to know what to do and what not to do and how to give the correct response when asked a question. I liked doing things right and meeting expectations so my heart behind my faith in a lot of ways was just not to mess it up. My attitude was tell me how I’m supposed to act and I’ll act that way or tell me what I’m supposed to say and I will say it. I wanted to be a well-oiled machine for the kingdom of God.
The problem with robots is that even though they outwardly accomplish tasks, they are dead on the inside. Jesus severely rebuked the Pharisees for being like whitewashed tombs, clean outwardly but dead on the inside (Matthew 23:27). He also rebuked them for proclaiming the right things from their lips, but having their hearts far from God (Matthew 15:8). The fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) aren’t things you program yourself to have, but rather only come inwardly from a transformed heart. If you haven’t gotten my point yet it’s that God never desired us to just methodically do and say the right things, but rather He calls us into a loving, growing relationship with Himself. And if my only goal is to do right for God then I am completely missing the beauty and joy of what it means to be a son resting in the loving, trustworthy arms of the Almighty Father. Christianity is not behavior modification, but rather heart transformation that leads to an overflow of righteous, God-pleasing behavior.
So stop striving to “act correctly” as a Christian in all situations. Get to know your Lord and Savior and He will reveal to you what love and kindness and peace really are. When our desire is just to know God it changes everything. We share about Christ not because we feel like we are supposed to, but rather we are so grateful for what He has done it is an honor to tell others. We don’t sing and pray because that is what you do in church, but rather there is a joy in praising the name of our Holy Lord and communing with Him in prayer. I could go on and on, but church I hope you know Him and know Him well.
It’s a joy to serve with you all,